The Polish Republic which was restored to freedom in 1918, found itself between the grindstones of two imperialist Powers. Those Powers—Russia and Germany, bursting with ambition to expand and, after years of preparation, feeling themselves strong enough to fulfil their dream by an armed action, endeavoured to destroy Poland and those other small States between the Baltic and Aegean Seas in order to march, one eastward the other westward, to the edges of the Continent, Both had the definite aim of establishing one great state which was to stretch from the shores of the Atlantic to the shores of the Pacific and was to be a preliminary to the ultimate conquest of the world. Due to the participation of the Atlantic Democracies in the Second Great War Germany was smashed, while Russia, through the political genius of Stalin, who had not met his match among the leaders of those Democracies, was able to reach halfway across Europe. That belt of States which existed in the Middle Zone between Russia and Germany prior to 1939 (referred to contemptuously by the Germans as " Zone des Debris") was to virtually disappear , . . The front line between the Western World with its leading Atlantic Democracies, and the Soviet World, now stretched from the Beringa Straits (there is a mile of water between Russia and the United States) to India and Japan* On this front line in the most vital European sector, where the whirl- wind of war had raged for so many years, Poland's problem was to be the most characteristic—not merely because she had received guarantees from the Allies and because Britain and France had entered the war to maintain her independence, not merely because the Poles showed a particular vitality, not because the Soviets, like the Germans, were to encounter the strongest resistance to their aggression, but first and foremost because, long before the defeat of Germany, Poland had become the test of the solidarity of the Great Alliance, Here was the field where the Two Worlds were to meet, here the Great Powers encountered a problem which could not be settled by compromise. One side would have to give way. The Democracies were brought face to face with the question ... was Poland to be free ?—whether or not to fulfil their guarantees and ... the thesis of Democracy . . * in other words, did they intend opposing Russian conquest as they had opposed Hitler's aggression ?